1942-09-29 Flying Officer - Prisoner of War
Spitfire Mk Vc (Trop) BR392
601 Sqn (RAF)
In 1942 he was transferred from 129 Squadron to 74 Squadron in the Middle East. On September 29th, 1942 he was attached to 73 Sqn. While flying near El Alamein the engine on his Spitfire gave out and he forced to land behind the German lines. He was captured and sent to a POW camp in Italy.
In 1943 he escaped and made his way back to England. He eventually talked his way back onto operations and was posted to 401 Sqn as a Flying Officer, flying Spitfire Mk 9s. On March 15th, 1944, while on a sweep over France his engine again gave out and he was forced to bail out. (Most likely Spitfire LFIX MJ126.) This time he was not captured, but instead made his way to Spain with the help of the resistance.
Ray passed away on December 2nd, 2016 after 94 years of an incredible life. It was previously known as RAF Westhampnett where he and Jimmy Whalen served with 129 sqdn in 1941.